Book Summary:

Terrence Tullgren tells the fresh and inspiring story of a young boy who learns how to be grateful by watching the community behavior of deer and squirrels in the woods near his home. Donnie offers food to the animals and they are thankful. This special experience inspires Donnie to express gratitude to others. Donnie writes a thank you note for a present he receives, with surprising results. The book provides a simple way for any child to understand that communicating gratefulness is a basic human skill. The story is beautifully told, in words any child can easily relate to and understand. The pencil-line, retro illustrations by Charles Gibson hearken back to a time of old fashioned values as they skillfully complement the text and reinforce this important lesson. The cover intentionally features black and white images so that the reader has no preconceived notion of how to color within, therefore fostering each child’s innate creativity and imagination. The result is a must-own book for any child. Tullgren weaves a story both touching and impactful for young hearts and minds. Donnie Learns How to Be Grateful is the second book in the Donnie Learns series on values for young people.

The coloring book series

About the Author:

Terrence N. Tullgren is an independent author, designer, producer and artist who resides in Miami, Florida. Tullgren originally wrote his first children’s activity book, Donnie Makes New Friends, as a means to address a fundamental issue for children with autism, eye contact. After rigorous testing, he realized the book was relevant to all children. That was the catalyst for creating the DONNIE LEARNS series, a number of coloring books that present essential values and serve as a foundation for character development in children.


Our Review:

“Donnie Learns How to Be Grateful” is the second book in a seven-book series of children’s coloring books.  These books focus on helping teach children various lessons while coloring, rather than just mindlessly coloring.  Each book follows Donnie as he learns something new, as the entire book is crafted into a story similar to a children’s book.  Every drawing is a half-page sketch, typically of adorable woodland animals portraying the lesson that Donnie is learning.  Each book in the series has a fantastic lesson for children to learn, and honestly, I feel like these would be great books for parents to read aloud to their kids.  I’m sure it would spark some great discussion between children and parents, as well as provide learning moments.  Kids will be learning right alongside Donnie as they make their way through the book.
I do think that the full page beside each existing half-page of sketches could have been filled with sketches to provide more space for coloring. Overall, I think homeschoolers would enjoy these books and harvest ample discussion from the story fodder.


    • Paperback: 68 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 9, 2012)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1479207152
    • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches


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